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Mexico Fossil Laws

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I've read many times on the Forum that there are strict export and collection laws in Mexico because they may consider fossils to be national treasures. I have one supplier insisting the exact opposite - that there's no such law on exports nor collecting and that there was one mistaken case years ago, though that person received their fossils back when the law was made known to the Mexican authorities who confiscated them initially.


Evidently there is the idea that the export of fossils is strictly mandated in Mexico. I'm not sure now where it came from. I'd like to read these laws, but for my part cannot find them. Does anyone know where I might look? 

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I believe I've found the relevant document. I'll include it here, it may prove useful to anyone looking in the future.




There appears to be a single mention of "fósiles" in Chapter III, Article 28:



De los Monumentos Arqueológicos, Artísticos e Históricos


ARTICULO 28.- Son monumentos arqueológicos los bienes muebles e inmuebles, producto de

culturas anteriores al establecimiento de la hispánica en el territorio nacional, así como los restos humanos, de la flora y de la fauna, relacionados con esas culturas.


ARTICULO 28 BIS.- Para los efectos de esta Ley y de su Reglamento, las disposiciones sobre

monumentos y zonas arqueológicos serán aplicables a los vestigios o restos fósiles de seres orgánicos que habitaron el territorio nacional en épocas pretéritas y cuya investigación, conservación, restauración,  

recuperación o utilización revistan interés paleontológico, circunstancia que deberá consignarse en la respectiva declaratoria que expedirá el Presidente de la República."


Translation via Google Translate:


"CHAPTER III Of the Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Monuments


ARTICLE 28.- Archaeological monuments are movable and immovable property, product of cultures prior to the establishment of the Hispanic in the national territory, as well as human remains, flora and fauna related to those cultures.


ARTICLE 28 BIS.- For the purposes of this Law and its Regulations, the provisions on Monuments and archaeological zones will be applicable to the vestiges or fossil remains of organic beings that inhabited the national territory in past times and whose research, conservation, restoration, recovery or use are of paleontological interest, a circumstance that must be recorded in the respective declaration issued by the President of the Republic."

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4 hours ago, Boesse said:

I know I have always read this, and it seems to be colloquial knowledge - and I think the lack of Mexican fossils for sale commercially is especially telling. You have to be able to appreciate the history of Mexico and foreign powers, colonialism, and the immense - and threatened - archaeological wealth of the country to understand why the laws in Mexico are so strict. I was nervous taking some of our museum specimens to Mexico and back for my Shark Week filming - worried that on the return trip, they would be mistaken for Mexican fossils and confiscated (so I made sure they were labeled with loan paperwork and a letter from our collections manager, citing the specimen numbers, explaining the purpose of them being on my person).

Absolutely. For centuries there have been conflicts over who dominates national cultural representations throughout Latin America, Mexico notwithstanding. These are nations that have, in many instances, had their cultures compromised by foreign powers. I understand and support their right to preserve cultural heritage.



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